Join for FREE
It only takes a minute!
14-17.5cm (5Â½-7 in)
Winter adult plumage similar; upperparts are plainer, with pale feather edges
 Similar Species
Compared to most other species, look for very long wings creating an elongated profile. This is to some extent shared with Sanderling and White-rumped Sandpiper, and especially compared to the latter, look for all black, straighter bill and shorter legs.
In winter found in South America from southern Ecuador to Tierra del Fuego. Main migratory route in autumn is via the Great Plains in late July-August, juveniles migrate rather later and sometimes wander to eastern Canada. Spring movement across North America is mainly in April-early May, again most travel through the interior.
In the Western Palearctic recorded in many European countries north to Iceland, Scandinavia and Poland and south to Greece, also on the Azores. However, most records come from Britain (c.170) where now up to 6 are recorded annually, mainly in July-October and very occasionally in spring. Most occur in the south-west but there have been many east coast records, suggesting that some may arrive from the east.
Usually seen on freshwater marshes, riverbanks and lakesides rather than coastal habitats but also on coastal and brackish marshes and adjacent grassland.
Breeding season starts in June, sometimes early July. A monogamous species. The nest on the ground, usually in dry locations with low vegetation. Lays four, sometimes three eggs.
During breeding season the diet consists mainly of insects. On migration feeds on larvae of beetles, Diptera, Coleoptera and Lepidoptera. Pecks up prey with quick bill jabs, generally shows a brisk feeding action.
A migratory species, many birds migrate inland across the North American prairies, Rockies and northern Andes, resting at high-altitude lakes.
Call: a purring prrreet
 External Links